Amid celebrations over the centenary of the ruling Communist Party, Chinese President Xi Jinping awarded medals to loyal members of the party and demanded adherence to Marxism.
Xi’s speech at a ceremony Tuesday following a lavish celebration at Beijing’s Olympic stadium on Monday evening, emphasizing China’s growth in economic and political relevance after reforms put in place more than 40 years ago.
While running the private industry, the ruling party maintained an iron grip on political power, along with preferential policies towards state-owned companies.
“All party members must take their faith in Marxism and socialism with Chinese characteristics as the goal of their lives,” Xi said in his speech to the winners. The celebrations ended with a commemoration Thursday in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
During his nine years at the helm of the party, Xi established himself as China’s most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong, who founded the People’s Republic in 1949 after defeating the Chiang Kai-shek Nationalists. in the midst of the civil war.
Like Mao, Xi is not bound by term limits and, at 68, will likely remain in office for years to come.
While repressing any sign of political opposition at home and promoting an anti-corruption campaign, it has advanced an increasingly assertive foreign policy that seeks to command control of the South China Sea, intimidating Taiwan into accepting control of Beijing, and joins Russia in challenging US influence in international affairs.